Torment will have a strong emphasis on story and character development, which will permeate other facets of gameplay, such as combat and exploration. The Ninth World is a place of great mystery and wonder, all waiting to be discovered.
Torment will emphasize the quality of combat encounters over quantity. We have different combat systems in mind to reach this goal and will engage backers on this topic throughout the process. The game will be a more cerebral RPG than most, with less hack-and-slash and accumulation of items and more NPC interaction, problem solving, and reflection. Torment will have thrilling combat and fantastic items, of course, but the game isn’t an action RPG. The items you find will be awe-inspiring, not just through the powers they provide but through their rich histories and their relevance to the narrative.
As in Planescape: Torment, you’ll play the role of a specific individual. At the game’s start, however, you are a blank slate and have control over the path you take through the story, and you will also make choices to customize your abilities and skills. We’re taking the approach of having you role-play a specific individual so that we can focus on telling a very personal tale – yours.
The First Castoff Statuette (with detachable mask) from the $2000 reward tier. (Statuette by www.imaginerick.com)
How Will Torment Handle Dialogue and Companions?
Compelling dialogue and intriguing companions are at the core of the Torment experience. We intend to maintain that tradition. We’ll use dialogue trees for conversation because they work well for what we want to do. You’ll choose the line you speak or the action you take from a list of options, defining your character by what you say and do.
The deeply developed companions will add to and affect how your story unfolds. But which companions you travel with (if any) is your decision, and how you interact with them will matter. Some companions might choose to leave you in extreme situations, but as long as they’re in your party, they’ll go where you direct and do what you tell them.
What Are the Tides?
There are unseen forces in the Ninth World, forces that have profound and lasting effects for those attuned to their motions. Like gravity or magnetism, the Tides are invisible, powerful, and with the right tools, perhaps controllable.
The Tides represent complicated concepts that aren’t entirely definable by language. Those who acknowledge the Tides have given them symbolic colors based on how they appear to correspond with emotional and psychological reactions. For example:
The Tides reflect your choices, the subtle currents of motivation that ripple through your life.
The colors are important, because a word like “justice” (for example) is too simplistic. The Indigo Tide represents not only justice and fairness; it might also mean a desire for the greater good or an “end justifies the means” mentality. The Gold Tide can represent false philanthropy as well as martyrdom—it’s the actions that matter, not the motivations. In the game, the Tides serve as a kind of alignment system—but a more nuanced one, and one that does not judge actions based on whether they are good or evil. You’ll learn more about the Tides as you explore Torment. And the Tides will gradually change based on your actions and decisions, ultimately determining your Legacy.
What Do You Mean by My Legacy?
There’s your legacy, the stories others tell about you and the inspirations they find in your life, and your Legacy, which we’re systematizing here. Your Legacy is determined by which Tides you manipulate the most. Do you use your wisdom to help others? Do you seek power for the greater good? Maybe you’re an avenger, taking whatever action is necessary to aid those around you. Perhaps you’re just in it for the prestige. (Or money. People are always in it for the money.) As your choices move the Tides, your Legacy will be revealed.
Your Legacy also influences the world around you. Weapons and relics may have different bonuses for characters with certain Legacies. Some of them might respond positively if you’ve revealed yourself to be a thinker or an artist, while others might help you only if you’re moved by passion and power.
Your Legacy opens new potential abilities. Some Legacies can change the very structure of your body, giving you superhuman powers: the ability to read the past in the minds of the dead, for instance, or a nearly supernatural affinity with weapons.